Real Madrid took out their pent-up Primera Division frustrations on sorry Valencia last night with a stunning first-half display en route to a comprehensive 5-0 victory at the Mestalla.

Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring early on and then Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria helped themselves to braces during a devastating 11-minute spell just before half-time as Madrid, who beat the same opponents in the Copa del Rey in midweek, ran amok.

Valencia battled back but Madrid, with Iker Casillas selected ahead of Antonio Adan, held firm to move back to within 15 points of leaders Barcelona.

Elsewhere, second-place Atletico Madrid beat Levante 2-0 but the win was soured by a thigh injury to Radamel Falcao, which may keep the club's top scorer out for three weeks.

On Saturday, Barcelona side suffered their first defeat of the league season going down to 3-2 to Real Sociedad

Their lead is down to eight points after the reversal.